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Champ Darrion Caldwell headlines Bellator 204 with non-title fight against Noad Lahat

Darrion Caldwell faces Noad Lahat at Bellator 204.
Bellator MMA

Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will move up a weight class to meet UFC veteran Noad Lahat in a non-title featherweight fight on August 17 in the main event of Bellator 204.

The card is slated to serve as Bellator’s inaugural event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Promotion officials announced the booking Friday following an initial report by ESPN.

Caldwell (12-1) will return to the division he competed in for his first six fights of his career for the special one-off match against Lahat. “The Wolf” began his career as an undefeated featherweight but moved down to 135 pounds in 2015; he has since ripped off a 6-1 record and captured the Bellator bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over Eduardo Dantas. A 30-year-old NCAA wrestling champion, Caldwell defended his belt with a first-round stoppage over Leandro Higo this past March.

Lahat (12-3), meanwhile, has strung together a successful 3-1 run since signing with Bellator in late 2016. A veteran of the Octagon, the 34-year-old Israel native kicked off his Bellator run with back-to-back submission wins over Scott Cleve and Lloyd Carter, then rebounded from a loss to Henry Corrales by outpointing Jeremiah Labiano at Bellator 188.

Promotion officials also announced a co-headlining bout between South Dakota’s own Logan Storley (8-0) and welterweight veteran A.J. Matthews (9-7) for Bellator 204.

A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler, Storley is a perfect 3-0 in Bellator competition. He’ll look to preserve that unbeaten run against Matthews, a longtime Bellator fighter who snapped a career-worst four-fight losing streak earlier this year with a split decision win over Kendall Grove.

Bellator 204 takes place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. The night’s main card airs live on Paramount Network.

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